When I attend a shiur by Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi, I am inspired to repeat her divrei Torah to anyone who will listen. Recently, she spoke beautifully on the topic of honoring parents. She said that Hashem wishes to bestow blessings, but in order for them to flow, we must be at peace with our parents. If there is friction with parents, then the blessings are blocked. Make peace, avoid dissent. Simple? No. Worth it? Yes! When I came home, I received a heart-rending message from a dear friend of mine who is involved in a year-long, ugly, custody battle. She was anxiety ridden about a pending decision that would determine the parameters of visitation. Could I call her when I returned home?
To add to her distress, this close friend has a lifetime history of complications in her relationship with her mother, her only living parent. Thus, she struggles without the benefit of family support.
It seemed too much of a coincidence that this particular friend called me on a night that I had learned something new about the power of honoring parents. She needed blessing in her life and had gone to great lengths in seeking ways to increase her personal merits. Since I love her, I did not wish to increase her suffering by bringing up the sore topic of her mother/daughter relationship. So, I offered up a silent prayer request to Hashem and asked that if I tell her that I went to the shiur, and she specifically asks what it was about, I will relay the message of kibbud horim being the remedy to unblock blessing.
I told her that I had just walked in the door from a Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi shiur. She asked, “What was the class about?” (Ding!) I relayed the shiur in detail and respectfully added that maybe it was time for her to reach out to her mother.
Her next words were so agonizing. She told me that as far as her mother is concerned she is an invisible daughter, and doesn’t even rank on her scale of interest. Her mother invents grudges against her and holds onto them. At the last simcha that they were invited to, they were seated at the same table and her mother ignored her the entire evening!
Sadly, all of those things were absolutely true, as I had witnessed them myself.
I had a flash of inspiration. I told her that I will call her mother and prepare her for the phone call. My friend was skeptical and also annoyed at my persistence. So I challenged her. I said, “If something good comes from all of this and suddenly you see a yeshua, it will have been worth it. If nothing comes of it, we can both go to Rabbanit Yemima and give her a piece of our minds!” She thought this was kind of funny, and we hung up on good terms.
Then, I called her mother. Her mother knows me for years and had always made me feel welcomed, despite the fact that I was privy to her rocky relationship with her daughter.
I explained that I called because I thought that she should know what is happening in her daughter’s life and to be aware of her sorrow. I told her how devastating it was for her daughter to petition and battle for the time that she spends with her own children.
To my utter surprise, her mother was extremely receptive. At the conclusion of our hour-long conversation, she told me that she instinctively felt that if they were to make up with each other, it would bring blessing into both of their lives!Tzippy Erblich